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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  857 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Reams of stuff have been written about me in the past, but never in my own words: this is the proper one’ Mark E. Smith Still going after thirty years, The Fall are one of the most distinctive British bands, their music — odd, spare, cranky and circular — an acknowledged influence on The Smiths, The Happy Mondays, Nirvana and Franz Ferdinand. And Mark E. Smith IS The Fall. ...more
Published (first published January 1st 2009)
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MJ Nicholls
A slender and typically unrepentant diatribe from MES, stretched into the only ‘official’ book we’re likely to get on The Fall. Dave Simpson’s book The Fallen gets to the heart of the fan’s obsession with the group, providing a more compassionate look at a band so beloved among writers and word-lovers. It’s a little more, um . . . balanced.

This book acts like an extension of the MES myth, sprinkling a few surprises here and there among the liquored ramblings of the great man, transcribed (and no
Jan 10, 2009 rated it liked it
this guy is such a dick and a TOTAL eeyore, but he's also totally hilarious. only for upper-level Fall fans, i'd say.
Simon King
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Quite disappointing if you want to read a coherent, well-parsed biography of his career. Enlightening if you want 300 pages of continuous ranting (no different from a run-of-the-mill Fall song, come to think of it). Seeing that he didn't actually sit down to write it, don't blame MES, blame the ghost writer. (Apparently he had a nervous breakdown whilst typing up this protracted diatribe. Poor soul!)

I'd really like to see MES produce a literary work some day. I recall reading a 80s interview (m
Jun 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Drunk Manc Threat-uh.
Jonathan Hutchins
Dec 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Never liked The Fall much (and I was listening to Peel solid from 1979 for a few years) but there's no denying Mark E. Smith can't be ignored. I want to pigeonhole him as a smart-mouthed alcoholic has-been, and I can't. It's in large part a class thing - much of what he says about working-class vs middle-class attitudes in the North is absolutely spot-on. His self-comparison to Alex Ferguson is not as hubristic as it sounds - yes he routinely fucks off band members and has left traumas and lifel ...more
Mark Desrosiers
Mar 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, memoirs
This reads like a combination of I Lived to Tell it All, and KISS and Make Up. Like George Jones, Mark E. Smith doesn't seem to know where his gifts came from (or even what they are), but gives himself ample room for cranky old-fogeyisms and bibulous self-handicapping. And like Gene Simmons, Mark regrets nothing, defends his vices, snipes at ex-bandmates, and comes across like a cocksure (or maybe "tonguesure") asshole. (But unlike Gene, Mark's knack for lucre obviously ain't all there, consider ...more
Feb 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
Well, I guess it's no surprise that this book is entertaining, and lacks focus. Meandering doesn't even begin to describe the journey each page takes. And I even skipped the poetry/prose interludes. The thousands of pints Mark E Smith has had over the years have done nothing to dull this man's ego or judgmentalism. Thankfully for us it hasn't dulled his drive for The Fall. But on the prior points there is a lot of shit talking in this book, and very little praise for anyone outside of Mark's pub ...more
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I honestly don't know why it took me so long to read this book. I've been a rabid Fall fan since high school, devouring every album, every Peel session, and virtually every MES interview on YouTube. I admit, the guy fascinates me. He's never been afraid to call it like it is, and as an artist he always takes the road less traveled. He's an icon and an enigma at the same time.

For fans of The Fall, RENEGADE is more than a tell-all autobiography. It's a treasury. In it, MES reflects on his working
Paul Saxton
Mar 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Smith should have written this book a few years earlier, when he was sharper, cooler, more focused and less of an embittered drunk. Still, this collection of transcribed interviews is entertaining enough, with Smith obviously playing to the crowd a bit and living up to his image of an avuncular, although often belligerent, tyrant. Which is why it's perfect for the Guardian-reading, casual Fall fan who wants to just dip into the strange world of MES.

For those of us, however, who are a little more
Jul 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fuckfaces (Fall fans pet name for themselves)
Ostensibly the memoirs of The Fall's lead vocalist, my guess is that the writing process consisted of Mark E. Smith sitting down in a pub and spewing volumes of autobiographical vitriol to some journo with a micro-cassette recorder. Which was subsequently transcribed verbatim...

Which could've been any day in the life of Smith... but in this instance, he got paid.

Sample quote: "Degrees have a way of warping people -- it's not good for people to spend that amount of time at university, acting like
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“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.” 36 likes
“There was a lot of pretense floating around; not just with aunties and all that but with emotions and how people saw you. They had a point. There's a lot to learn from that generation -- the stoic approach. I think it's disgusting how they've been forgotten about in this way. It's the American hippies' fault, they saw an in there, a way of making money out of bad moods. That's all it is most of the time. You can't expect to feel cock-a-hoop every minute of every day. My mam and dad's generation understood this. They were just thankful the bombs had stopped threatening their lives. They just wanted to get on with living.” 13 likes
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